“KARL JASPERS FORUM” UPDATE 37.4––The “evolutionary” cosmogonic misuse of Jaspers’ “Axial Period”, the “material substratum” (Perennial Scope 59), and teleological “substratum of existence” and transcendent periechontology (encompassing Origin and Goal 263) (Posted August 15, 2008)  



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Notation: Significant corrections will be dated and fairly displayed

1. A laissez-passer gesture––taking liberties at an imaginary Jaspers Heidelberg Center
2. Control-vectoring of an “evolutionary” spin
2.1. Humankind’s “material substratum” and “substratum [goal] of existence”
2.2.  Jaspers regarding probability in mutations (GP 511ff) v. biological fundamentalism
2.3. Teleological, eschatological, and periechontological forms of thinking
3. If I were Herbert I would try to give an academic professional accountability to postings

1. A Laissez-passer gesture–Within a few days after the posting of UPDATE 37.3 (that drew attention to possible collaborative efforts resulting in the misuse of Jaspers) Herbert Müller posted what could be taken as a defensive reaction < >. (See item 3 details below. There is an easy dating method of professional accountability that would prevent any suspicion relative to the possible manipulation of information while traveling the international WWW.) Herbert does not encourage others to relate their blog-contributions to Jaspers. In seeking postings and receiving them, like from Ulrich Mohroff, he could encourage relating the works to Jaspers. Herbert makes a token reference, an evoked peripheral reference, to stave off some illogicality guilt. In the face of criticism and in the name of logical consistency, at the very least Herbert must make an occasional salutatory laissez-passer gesture at Jaspers to be eligible to take liberties in a supra type Jaspers-Heidelberg-Center. In this recent case he interprets Jaspers as though Jaspers is speaking from the tenet of “evolutionary” natural biology––Herbert gives one reference to Jaspers’ “Origin and Goal of History”, the German edition, seemingly implying that interpretation is dependable if done by a native. Such an implication is a violation of the speech phenomenon that contributes to what humankind has in common. Speech is the bridge on the WWW that collects neither tolls nor demands abnormal highway regards or privileges.

2. Control-vectoring of an evolutionary spin––Herbert’s references to Jaspers’ Origin lacks correctness. Jaspers did not state that the “axial” period was the beginning of the history of thinking, but rather “Consciousness became once more [emphasis mine] conscious of itself…” p.2, and he did not describe the phenomena in developmental terms as though it had anything to do with initial stages of an “evolving” thinking faculty. He did say everything “implied” by the names of listed personages “developed almost simultaneously”; Jaspers did not say “apparently independently of each other”, as Herbert said, (<1>) but to properly quote Jaspers: “almost simultaneously in China, India, and the West, without any one of these regions knowing of the other [italics mine]” (p. 2). Next: after affirming that Jaspers and Buddhist thinking are commensurable, he then suggests that all of this supports his formulae clearly marking the route leading to nirvana, i.e., inheriting the world. The question is whether such highway regardfulness is going to be misused and hamper EMS corrective transportation action. Jaspers refers to this Buddhist process as a “human-superhuman state” (PFR 268) and the price of it “is simply the loss of all ciphers”. In that sense the same could be said of Herbert’s zero derivation formula. I mention Jaspers’ critique simply to put some restraints of “evolutionary” exploitation of a common human factor of experience, including the commonality of human kindness restrained by straining an origin of virtue from “axial phenomena”. Jaspers “Axial” phenomena is now in common vogue and will be leaped upon from all quarters questing for power. Note Herbert’s use of it.

2.1. Humankind’s “material substratum” and “substratum [goal] of existence”––While speaking about Jaspers’ “Axial” work, Herbert refers to a Western or Occidental (the word relates to the west where the sun goes down) thinking as having been influenced by the “metaphysics” of Plato and Aristotle. Herbert avoids the influence of the biblical imageless God, and spins immediately into a vague but certain “of course” doctrine of probability (the positivistic modernity side of uncertainty in postmodernity). Herbert says: “Of course these various theories of knowledge originate in a common underlying process.” I take his meaning here to be an interpretation of what Jaspers means by the use of the word “substratum” within a biological frame of reference. My impression is supported by Herbert’s most recent posting TA 92 C39 where he postures beside the fundamentalism of “evolutionary” biology to explain to Bill Adams’ semantical pedantry that the subject is always active in language. Herbert argues via linguistic pragmatics; that “the final cause” is a selection process following mutations. He spins from linguistic pragmatics into the “evolutionary” tenet of “evolutionary” fundamentalism to gain strength for his zero derivation and mind inclusivity–exclusivity––a mind-brain effort spun out of bounds. Through this analogy with biological fundamentalism Herbert is talking about an “underlying process” that is material in nature and affects the distinct cultures simultaneously (an emboldened posture due probably by something he read in Dawkins). To regain balance, it needs to be seen that when Jaspers uses “substratum” in biological inheritance sense (GP 511ff) he is referring to humankind as we know humankind to be and we cannot think of humankind being different and that in view of this humankind-histology “one can no longer investigate hereditary units the absence of which makes life impossible” (GP 512) especially so in making mutation research results applicable to humankind (though now we know more about gene-arrangement than perhaps Jaspers did, but the learned ignorance principle is exponentially elevated too and the new updated information always yet limited by “infinite refinements”.

2.2.  Jaspers regarding probability in mutations (GP 511ff) v. biological fundamentalism––The other use of a concept of underlying process or “substratum” has to do with the basic-needs substratum that Jaspers speaks to in Origin and Goal, p. 263. He calls it “substratum of existence” or those phenomenal basic needs held in common by dispersed humankind. These basic needs are what are needed for survival, and for thought’s survival and transcendency it involves freedom. But this is not what Herbert is associating himself with, but rather “evolutionary” fundamentalism, though, he wants to distinguish himself through a mind-brain and subject-object argument. The argument reverts to that primitive need to depend on analogous comparisons (Jaspers’ GP, Illusions in primitives not delusions), the analogue for Herbert being “the” biological fundamental truth, in his words, the “selection process” resulting from “random mutations” (See TA92 C 39 Re <1>). But as far as the probability involved in quantum mechanics, it is not a good argument for “most mutants are changes that are morbid and maladaptive to life and disappear quickly as a result of natural selection. But there are positive deviations which may lead to an alteration in the species if in the course of time their frequency increases”––but this has not happened in the history of humankind substratum, i.e., during the “Axial period”, for if it had we would not be talking about the history of humankind as we know it and can only think about while empirically grounded. Jaspers points at the limitation of research and that it relates to surface ripples not with foundation. Thoughtful humankind is not maize, and from maize to corn, the way we know it, has come about through human intellectual intervention and management (while holding the more original in reserve in case of default). Jaspers is avoiding a biological tenet, and preventing such from being spun into a biological fundamentalism. He is propounding rather the science that does not give way to indoctrination processes that produce crowd-power that then can be used to shore up one’s expounded agenda. In other words, Herbert’s argues for his stylistic subjectivism from improbability to the elevation of his formulae to a fundamental principle––which he refers to as teleology, but scientifically, i.e., from probability, it is more an eschatological frame of reference for mutation.

2.3. Teleological, eschatological, and periechontological forms of thinking––Herbert’s teleological argument with Bill Adam’s linguistic pedantry goes too far––like this: the ultimate cause of mutation is its survival. Upon reflection we can see this is really nothing more than the survival of the fittest given a theological bent through the exploitation of some religious history and its word “teleology”. But in the history of religion the end of humankind on earth is more defensively “eschatologically” improbable, and centralized institutional control can and does speak to that probability. It promotes survival but depending on maintaining the status quo and avoiding the risk of mutations and overtaxing immunity so that conditional life on earth might be prolonged (for the earth’s cultivation and preservation probably serves a cosmic purpose). Thus, enters Jaspers’ periechontological argument for the imageless design working through individuals rather than gangs (Axial age as pivotal due to the imageless God speaking directly in cypher language to individuals). The way biological fundamentalism uses teleology, it is less eschatological and more the end justifying the immanental mutational means, and cuts the thoughtful individual off from the periechontological. Jaspers’ periechontology is open to transcendental revealings and inspirational phenomena but within sight of humankind’s real historical restraining information. It is this reality that Herbert’s negative mind independent reality negates.    

3. If I were Herbert I would try to give ethical accountability to postings––I look at dates on documents and those that have no dates. I’d like to think that like Kierkegaard I am a person, pardon me too for saying it, “‘with an unusually well-defined gift for detective work…’” (PFR 347, and Kierkegaard’s “Attack…” Beacon Press, Boston, 1963, p 33 and 118). There are a few problems with Herbert’s TA 109 C2. First it is the date that he received it from himself (his assigned date is July 26th, and posted August 9 (which, already posted, I read August 7): If the “Comment” was finished on the 26th and not revised thereafter it seems he would have posted it when he posted Felix Holmgren C1 on August 9th which he assigned the receipt date of July 3rd. One, namely me, wonders why there is no receipt day-date for Bhatt’s Article but a thorough date is assigned to Holmgren’s Comment, the Comment date assigned being Aug 2. It is important to be forthright about the dates so as to alleviate the suspicions that references to Jaspers are merely a reaction to the likes of a “Karl Jaspers Applied” pointing at the failure to reference Jaspers’ works and easily seen misinterpretations too. For example: my August 4th posting of 37.3 pointing at these disregards was timely enough for Herbert to go back and revise a Comment with a Jaspers’ reference supposedly finished on July 26th and then post it after my posting so that it would appear he was committed to making his blog consistent with its “Jaspers” title (I sometimes immediately notify others of my postings and predict via the grapevine and cottage-talk that others will review them out of an interdisciplinary obligation peculiar to the gang). I had checked on the 6th and it was not posted. Although I have been removed from Herbert’s mailing list, I believe the mailings were made on the 6th. Few will perhaps appreciate the significance of loose dating and its affect on the professional accountability one might expect from an academician during this WWW information axial age wherein dating of communiqués are done now on the hither side of nanoseconds.  


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